Leisure Square plans are back on

Echo: Leisure Square plans are back on Leisure Square plans are back on

AMBITIOUS plans to give a dated town centre square a multi-million pound makeover are forging ahead.

Phil Turner, Conservative leader on Basildon Council, has said proposals to create a “leisure square”, opposite Brooke House, in Basildon, are firmly back on the agenda.

Bars, restaurants and a cinema will be brought into the town centre to compete with Basildon’s out-of-town Festival Leisure Park.

The Echo can reveal the row of shops, which includes the former Post Office building, will be knocked down to create a bigger square.

A deal will also be struck to buy the row of shops opposite Brooke House – as they are part of the recentlyacquired Freedom House.

The whole plan could cost in the region of between £25million and £30million and the council says it will create a vibrant night time economy for the town.

Mr Turner said: “This is an opportunity to turn an empty space into a major town centre feature. We can’t wait for the rot to set in, so that is why we are taking this initiative forward.

“If we don’t make an investment soon it could end up being too late..”

The idea of turning the square into a hotbed of night-time activity was rubber-stamped with the £1billion Basildon Town Centre Masterplan in December 2012.

Last year, a £6.7million bid to buy Freedom House and the parade of shops in East Walk failed and the properties have since been sold to pension company Appollo. The Echo understands the firm indicated it will invest in East Walk, but Basildon Council would have to buy the row of shops at the front of the parade, overlooking East Square, from them.

The council would borrow cash to finance the plans, then make the money back by renting out the units.

If it all goes to plan, the revamped square would have a row of bars and restaurants and cinema beforehand.

The proposals will go to the authority’s cabinet on July 17 to allocate cash for the next planning stage, but the project is unlikely to be completed before 2016.

Comments (7)

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7:22am Thu 3 Jul 14

whateverhappened says...

leisure square under the flying nappies of the erberts in brook house ..nice
leisure square under the flying nappies of the erberts in brook house ..nice whateverhappened
  • Score: 4

9:20am Thu 3 Jul 14

bazza 1 says...

Perhaps, along with the regeneration of Basildon Town Centre, which is a great idea, they might consider buying a couple of new brooms and a shovel, to clear up the mess that is Laindon Shopping Centre. It is worse than a middle east war zone, and although we all know it is owned by a consortium, the council must be able to invoke some kind of local by law to enforce at least a clean up, or preferably a compulsory purchase, and it demolition and re build.
Perhaps, along with the regeneration of Basildon Town Centre, which is a great idea, they might consider buying a couple of new brooms and a shovel, to clear up the mess that is Laindon Shopping Centre. It is worse than a middle east war zone, and although we all know it is owned by a consortium, the council must be able to invoke some kind of local by law to enforce at least a clean up, or preferably a compulsory purchase, and it demolition and re build. bazza 1
  • Score: 3

9:25am Thu 3 Jul 14

News Bunny says...

So the answer, when you notice that Festival Leisure Park has killed the Town Centre, is to turn the Town Centre into a rival for Festival Leisure Park.
Mind you at least it will mean you can call a cab to pick up from the town (or call the police to the town) and not be told that no-one is available as they're all over Festival Leisure!
So the answer, when you notice that Festival Leisure Park has killed the Town Centre, is to turn the Town Centre into a rival for Festival Leisure Park. Mind you at least it will mean you can call a cab to pick up from the town (or call the police to the town) and not be told that no-one is available as they're all over Festival Leisure! News Bunny
  • Score: 0

1:08pm Thu 3 Jul 14

cropped hero says...

For years we have all heard about ambitious plans to regenerate the town centre and what has happened? I remember going to an exhibition years ago where there was a model of a roofed in town square full of palm trees and the like with a monorail running round it. Am not going to get too excited by this until there is some evidence of change.
For years we have all heard about ambitious plans to regenerate the town centre and what has happened? I remember going to an exhibition years ago where there was a model of a roofed in town square full of palm trees and the like with a monorail running round it. Am not going to get too excited by this until there is some evidence of change. cropped hero
  • Score: 1

6:48pm Thu 3 Jul 14

EssexBetty says...

What benefit will a new Leisure Square bring to Basildon town centre? There is already the vibrant, successful Festival Leisure Centre just up the road - why spend £30million on yet another leisure park when the majority of our housing estates, roads, pathways & local facilities are falling to pieces through years of neglect - it's madness & councillors should rethink.
What benefit will a new Leisure Square bring to Basildon town centre? There is already the vibrant, successful Festival Leisure Centre just up the road - why spend £30million on yet another leisure park when the majority of our housing estates, roads, pathways & local facilities are falling to pieces through years of neglect - it's madness & councillors should rethink. EssexBetty
  • Score: 3

11:24am Fri 4 Jul 14

Howard Cháse says...

I think Phil the Builder and his Beltstrainer Buddies at The Bas Centre should concentrate on pushing tbrough the purchase and rebuilding/redevelop
ing of the disgraceful shambles that the Laindon Shopping Centre has been allowed to decline into for the past several years rather than continue making pie in the sky fantasy inspired proclamations regarding Basildon Town Centre.
I think Phil the Builder and his Beltstrainer Buddies at The Bas Centre should concentrate on pushing tbrough the purchase and rebuilding/redevelop ing of the disgraceful shambles that the Laindon Shopping Centre has been allowed to decline into for the past several years rather than continue making pie in the sky fantasy inspired proclamations regarding Basildon Town Centre. Howard Cháse
  • Score: 3

9:38am Tue 8 Jul 14

TheWizzard says...

Mr Turner said: “This is an opportunity to turn an empty space into a major town centre feature. We can’t wait for the rot to set in, so that is why we are taking this initiative forward.

But it was ok to allow Laindon to go rotten
Mr Turner said: “This is an opportunity to turn an empty space into a major town centre feature. We can’t wait for the rot to set in, so that is why we are taking this initiative forward. But it was ok to allow Laindon to go rotten TheWizzard
  • Score: 1
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